Detailed Summary Paradise Lost Book II Part II, Paradise Lost by John Milton Detailed Summary
He also advises no war with God rather make a living of their own, a new world:
"Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of Warr: ye have what I advise."
Beelzebub addresses the devils after Mammoth. He considers the slogans of war and peace as mere futile because war has already determined them and peace they cannot have in hell because if God ruled them in heaven, He can do so in hell:
"For he, be sure,
In highth or depth, still first and last will Reign
Sole King, and of his Kingdom loose no part
By our revolt, but over Hell extend
His Empire, and with Iron Scepter rule
Us here, as with his Golden those in Heav'n."
He proposes "to find some easier enterprize" rather than thinking to avenge God which is beyond their powers. He tells them of a new world to be created by God; this is the place they need to attack and corrupt to avenge their grudges against God:
"Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould,
Or substance, how endu'd, and what thir Power,
And where thir weakness, how attempted best,
By force or suttlety"
He proposes to invade man and "To waste his whole Creation, or possess" and corrupt this new creation of God so that He may "abolish his own works"(man).After resolving to "seduce" the newly created race, man, they wonder whom to send for finding the abode of mankind in the vastness of this abyss. And none else but Satan rose for this task. The council meeting was dismissed with deafening sounds of heralds of what had just been decided by the fallen angels.
Then they all ponder over the matters of philosophy like free will, fate, predestination, foreknowledge and all that vain philosophy which sets one astray or evil philosophy which stuffs one's mind with false hope or patience. Later, Milton describes hell and its four rivers which are known for different miseries for its inhabitants. The crew of Satan roams about in this desolate place to find a fit place for their habitat.
Then the poet tells us of the four rivers which engulf the desolate place of hell; all the lakes of fire are rooted into these rivers of liquid fire. But beyond them, there is a river, Lethe, known for its power of oblivion to which the fallen angels are not given any access. There are regions of fire as well as regions of ice to freeze the prisoners of hell and then to boil them in the lakes of hell. From the pains of hell, the fallen angels try to reach the region of forgetfulness but always fail in their attempts:
"And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose
In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
All in one moment, and so neer the brink;
But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt"